Mattiverse Next - Session 4
Beholder Cult Aftermath
- Some poking around reveals a ditch full of corpses. They were clearly fellow Dogmooters, being all Halflings. The party doesn't feel so bad about murdering the cultists.
- They spend a day giving the pilgrims a better burial. The cultists are left to rot in the air.
- Travel continues!
- They meet a bunch of merchants who've set up stalls in an abandoned town, a day away from Dogmoot. They haven't gotten the business they thought they would.
- One of the merchants sells the group their entire cart of goods at a firesale. They immediately mount the mask of the Hand-Eye Coordinator on its front, and start the partying a bit early with the merchants.
- The next day, slightly later than the day before, they set off on the last day before...
AW YEAH, BUDDY
- Party sets up shop immediately, repairing things, selling goods, handing out drinks.
- They make some money!
- Beldon starts spinning yarns while Bobwhite runs stage hand.
- The night is a blast. The party doesn't get a full rest. This turns out to be a theme.
- Banner and Four start finding fresh faces to fulfill their curse obligations.
- Bobwhite and Beldon keep the party going.
- They make some more money!
- Banner gets a dope-ass tattoo of a Red Door.
- Yarnad finds them, to the group's delight. She shows an immediate interest in Four and whisks him off.
- Gerom shows up, too, with some thuggish types in tow. He immediately gets the bad blood up with Beldon, who despite all his bravado seems unable to be more intimidating than a puffy rooster in front of his long-time bully. Some words are exchanged, Bobwhite turns his helmet around with an invisible Mage Hand, and an angry Gerom makes off with a keg of finest liquor. In the commotion, Bobwhite manages to also nick his purse, so the party figures it ended out in a draw.
- Banner and Four run the shop this day while Beldon goes to find a fairy, with a Bobwhite winghalfling.
- Between Four and Banner hassling everyone to tell them about the Gubbites, and their generally rougher demeanors, the stall makes a bit less money.
- Bobwhite's a pretty great wingman. One stellar investigation check later and they stumble on a circle of mushrooms that everyone else subconsciously steps around
- Naturally, they step in. They end up in a twilit forest with a swirling, multicolored sky.
- They seen no-one, and hear only a cricket sounding a strange, off-key pattern
- Beldon plays back. Badly, though
- The cricket stops. A woman (was she always there?) is at the end of the grove.
- She admonishes Beldon's contribution to the polyphonic. He bows and apologizes sincerely. Bobwhite says, "Hi", shyly.
- She ignores them and stares at Bobwhite, eventually saying, flatly, "I know what you wish to ask. No, I will not lift this curse. It taints this place. Begone"
- Bobwhite looks confused and starts to ask what she means, but she slaps him, gives a glare, and vanishes, along with the glade. It is now evening.
- Regaling the rest of the group with their tale, and Banner showing off new ink, Gerom and his toughs show up again.
- They're mighty pissed at the missing purse. They start shoving and poking and rooting around for more booze.
- (Bobwhite sneaks the purse back to him. Empty, though.)
- Beldon talks him down, in exchange for two more kegs of booze. The party narrowly avoids a fight.
- They're mighty pissed at the missing purse. They start shoving and poking and rooting around for more booze.
- Bobwhite and Beldon are back to the booth.
- Banner finds a fortune teller. He asks her if he should follow the path of monkhood. She gives a vague answer that is mildly affirmative.
- More partying! Until they run out of booze, after which the party filters out and the gang is left to hang out.
- Bobwhite notices a strange, robed halfling with a face painted as a skull smiling at him. Nobody else notices this.
- The halfling offers a flask, Bobwhite offers a toke, and takes a swig. It is foul, foul roadwater with, quote, "The taste of urine strained through a traveler's socks".
- He tries to hand back the flask, but the halfling is gone. The rest of the gang notices he has liquor and descends upon the rest of the liquid.
- Hallucinogenic laying-about commences. It's farrr ouut, maaan.
- They suddenly all find themselves in another weird forest. This one has a strange quality of color to it. There is a cool, completely clear stream with no fish in it. A tree beckons.
- Inside the tree is the skull-faced halfling. Some awkward starts commence, then he begins a tale:
- He is the Guardian [ed: of something I don't remember]
It was not long after the newly raised gods retreated behind their veil that their brood took to mischief and the wars against the darkness were replaced with the wars of the green. The men established their cities, the gildenfolk dug their burrows, and our people rode free and unchallenged across the plains of the midlands under the reign of the Wolfen-Khans, who ruled from their fortress where the grass ended and the mountains began. A fortress of stone and iron at the far end of our great, green sea.
And so Hadrian, called the Ubrekt, bastard son of the bastard son of War and Strife, came to make his Seat on the Stormchalice, at the furthest edges of our realm. He made war with a people called the Pon, then ruled by Natashial's daughter, whose name has been erased from history.
The war went disastrously for the Pon. Though they defended their colony well, the Ubrekt raised a fleet and set about an invasion of the capital of Phon. At that battle, Hadrian the Ubrekt saw his son slain, and in return made brutal war until Natashial's daughter met her end at his hand.
When Hadrian again marched against the Pon, whose sigil was the Gar fish, the Wolfen-Khan gave their aid. The Pon, now ruled by a council, made clever war but Hadrian made better war.
The power of the old gods was such that even a dram of that blood has the strength of armies. A generation of our kind raised to lullabies of mournful howling.
And so the Wolfen-Khan made exchange with the Naga for the secret of star-iron, called the usurper ore. And so set her people to scour the Cragbon until she had enough of the stuff to have made a great lance, which she took into battle against Hadrian the Ubrekt and slew him.
For reasons unknown, the power of the Ubrekt did not pass on to the Wolfen-Khan, however, but to the lance itself. It took in his power, but so too did it take in his personality. Conqueror. Lawbringer. Sovereign. The Wolfen-Khan fell under its sway.
The Ubrekt slain, his people made peace and elevated the child Hadrian II to the Seat. Quarrelsome and vain, he brought his folk once more into a war with the Pon. Our people, having launched a campaign against Servitors, did not honor their alliance and the empire of the Pon came to an end. Their monuments were toppled, their people enslaved, and their language forgotten.
For the Ubrekt, there is no peace but in ruination.
While our two peoples were celebrating their victories, discord also grew. Both leaders grew into tyrants, and both came to similar and interconnected ends. When Hadrian II was inevitably assassinated by his inner circle, a civil war resulted. The Wolfen-Khan, ambitious and no less tyrannical under the influence of the Lance, made war on both sides, seeking to annihilate forever the troublesome kingdom. This only served to drive the two sides together, and thus began our final war.
Sword against Lance. The Manticore versus the Wolf.
And so she who was to be the last Wolfen-Khan made indiscriminate war against the Ubrekti people. Cities razed, slaughter and ruination followed wherever she rode. The war was costly for our people, too, soon the costs became too high to bear.
The circle of druids came together against the Wolfen-Khan and overthrew her. Her cursed lance was broken into seven parts, each entrusted to a different elder druid to hide or protect.
Sadly, the breaking of the great lance was also the breaking of our dogs of war. The war quickly turned against us, and the young Ubrekti republic visited against our villages and campsites the death we had once handed out to them.
In the end, our people were defeated utterly, though not totally annihilated. The Ubrekti tore down the great fortress and carted the stone back to their capital to erect a great structure. The Concord of the Highways was struck, and the survivors of our old way of life assimilated into the expansive Ubrekti-Republic.
Somewhere, sunken deep in the Cragmore, is the Wolfen-Stone. A lost reminder of who we were and an ever-present reminder of who we are. Masters of war. Masters of peace.
Every generation we decide anew the destiny of our people.
- He then indicates that the Herald is present, pointing to Bobwhite. He holds out his hand.
- It takes a while for Bobwhite to figure out what he wants, but he finally gets it, and hands over Good Luck.
- The Guardian tosses it into the fire. The wand immediately becomes white-hot.
- "You must now take your burden anew", he says to Bobwhite. Bobwhite gulps and braces himself before grabbing the wand. It hurts like shit.
- He cools off in the water and sits there sobbing. His hand is now featureless, but otherwise unharmed.
- "This piece of the Lance is now awakened. Beware, now that it is awakened, the other pieces will call to be owned. Tend to your brother."
- They do so. The tree closes.
- Beldon and Four take this chance to take a bath. They also fill as many flasks as they can with the water.
- Banner helps out a dazed and confused Bobwhite.
- They cross back into the world.
- They sleep.
- Blasts of flame are everywhere. One near the party takes the form of a coal black stallion with a mane and hoofs of flame.
- The emaciated druids continue their dancing. They no longer look sublime, but tortured. They are thin now, and bony. Tears stream down their face. Once beautiful hair is stringy and matted, falling out in clumps. Around midnight, the druids begin to chant eerily in a language none of you understand/ Their chanting fills the camp. You wake up with a feeling of dread.he nonsense fills your ears and, though you still do not understand the language, you reckon the meaning.
- DEATH IS COMING / DEATH IS COMING / DEATH IS COMING
- The earth begins to tremble. The confused masses of dogmoot murmur and look around anxiously. Some begin to break and panic, hiding and running. Nightmare: A pillar of flame erupts near your location, and assumes the form of a coal black stallion, with a mane of fire.
- You run.
- You flee in a panic, every halfling for themselves.
- Behind you are the sounds of slaughter and the laments of the damned.
- You lose track of your brothers. The smell of soot and ash fills your nose and mouth.
- You run until you collapse in exhaustion.
- You seem to have run for miles.
- You are alone. In the distance, you see the Cragbon light up the night's sky with its inferno.
- You collapse into an exhausted pile of restless, dreamless sleep. This was no dream, though you wish it were.
- When you awaken, still exhausted. Five dogs sit, each staring at you blankly.
- A Mastiff. A Greyhound. A Sheepdog. A Hound. A Fox Terrier.
- [Religion / Arcana Checks]
- As you stand up and approach the dogs, they bolt! Each goes in a different direction!!
- [Q]: "Who do you follow?"
- You are separated from the others and run until you no longer can. Then, on the edge of collapse, you catch up with the dog you followed and end up asleep next to it.
- The first restful night's sleep of Dogmoot commences, and the party awakens to...
- ...the last day. Halflings everywhere are bleary-eyed, and partying is subdued. Some are packing up, and most stalls are closed. It is now time to decide where to go next. There is time for everyone to do one last thing before Dogmoot ends.
- Option include, but are not limited to: Go and find Bully and Gang, go and find cool cousin, provision up at the closing shops, OTHER.
- Valuables taken from murdered Dogmoot pilgrims.
- Various flasks of various mundane libations.
- A silver dagger.
- A cask of cider, two thirds drained.
- A chest of 231 Gold Pieces, 1214 Silver Coins, and 6,350 copper coins.
- All Gerom's money. But he eventually finds his purse again.
- Figuring out the eye-tyrant's business : 50 xp to all
- IT'S DOGMOOT TIME!!!!!!: 245 xp to all
- Avoiding a fight with Gerom: 50 xp to all
- Holy Shit, Boys - It's an Epic Quest!: 250 xp to all
- Nightmare: 200 xp to all
- Four encounters, one fight: 10% of all Dogmoot XP if the requirement is fulfilled
- Hair of the Dog: an extra-special bonus feat, and finally a good night's rest